If everyone agreed all the time, there would be no reason to consider different perspectives or look for new ways to handle situations. The best ideas often emerge from the creative problem-solving process that has to occur to reach conflict resolution.
Here are five benefits of conflict in the workplace:
1. As team members work through conflicts, they are able to make progress toward accomplishing goals that need to be reached.
This is true in terms of project-specific goals, as well as the goal of becoming a stronger, more unified team. Team members will grow by working through problems and dealing with challenges.
2. Working through conflict with colleagues can provide a forum for unifying the group.
After all, people are much more likely to buy into the outcome of decisions that are made if they were involved in the decision-making process. Making sure everyone has a voice — even if it’s a voice of dissent — is a vital component of an effective team.
3. By getting involved in efforts to resolve conflict, members of a workgroup can actually become more productive.
Rather than spending times dwelling on the fact that disagreement exists, taking action to deal with conflict can get co-workers focused on taking actions that lead to greater productivity.
4. If problems and disagreements are ignored and avoided rather than being handled in a constructive way, things will stay the same or get worse.
When co-workers air their differences and work through them, the stage is set for positive change to occur within the group. Keeping the status quo might be the path of least resistance, but if you can persevere through the struggle and come out better on the other side, it’s worth it.
5. Engaging in effective conflict management can lead to the resolution of problems that naturally arise when people with different goals, opinions, and attitudes work together.
Only through acknowledging differences and engaging in constructive communication can problems be resolved. And you, or an aspiring manager on your team, has to learn to manage conflict in order to harness its potential.
While conflict is often viewed as something to be avoided at all costs, that is not necessarily the case. Managed effectively, conflicts in the workplace can actually have positive outcomes.